Produced in collaboration with Time Out Tokyo, the fourth issue of Nikkei Asia's special magazine ‘Unlock the Real Japan’ is out now.
Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this issue focuses on some of the people at the forefront of Japan's efforts to reach those goals, from the history of Japan’s finance and education pioneer Eiichi Shibusawa to the futuristic vision of young digital artist and computer scientist Yoichi Ochiai.
There are exclusive interviews with Shozo Kudo – former Director of the Committee on Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism – and senior managing officer of the Iwatani Corporation Hiroshi Fukushima, who both discuss the benefits of hydrogen and how this zero-carbon fuel can help power Japan’s future.
Could comedy play a role in improving education as part of the SDGs? Takayuki Oinuma, president of Laugh and Peace Mother, tells us more about how laughter and technology help children develop abilities to assert themselves in the workplace. Akiko Okada and Hirotaka Tanaka talk about how new technology in the global food industry can lead to better production and consumption. On gender equality, activist Fumino Sugiyama calls on Japanese legislators to include more women in politics and to enact legislation to protect and support the LGBTQ+ community.
As the Olympic and Paralympic Games are starting this month – about 57 years after the first Games were held in the capital – the magazine looks at the work of Tokyo photographers Masaaki Kasuga and Herbie Yamaguchi, whose snapshots trace the evolution of the metropolis, from student protests in the 1970s to school children wearing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This issue was written and edited by Matthew Lee and Marcus Webb. Webb is editorial director at Original Inc (Time Out Tokyo) and editor of Delayed Gratification. Unlock the Real Japan is distributed for free at embassies and luxury hotels in Japan. If you can’t find a physical copy, visit the official website for Unlock the Real Japan.